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Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Explorer | Level 3

Hello, I just found out that all my iphone photos that I have been transferring from Dropbox to my hard drive are now all gone/deleted. I am extremely confused. I use Dropbox to upload photos that I take from my phone, which I then drag to my hard drive folder on my computer to store as back-up. I normally do Control X in the Dropbox folder when it's full, and then Control V to paste it to my hard drive folder. I then delete the dropbox folder to free up space. I've been doing that for years, and never noticed any of my photos on my hard drive deleted, until today. I no longer have them in my computer picture folders. I think this is something to do with Dropbox. Please let me know if there's a way to retrieve my old photos!!!!! This is honestly really heart breaking! 

7 Replies 7
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Re: Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hello @krissytu - welcome to our Community and sorry to hear about your missing files.

If you performed these deletions within your Dropbox folder, the changes must have been logged under your account's events page. Could you take a look and let me know if you're able to restore from there? https://www.dropbox.com/events 

Thanks in advance Krissy!



Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Explorer | Level 3

Hi Walter,

It doesn't look like the Events page showed anything regarding deleted files. What's odd is that all of my 2014-2016 photos that I have dragged from "Camera Uploads" in my Dropbox folder on my computer to another folder are all gone. But the ones from 2017-2019 are still there in my other folder. Do you know if Dropbox does something with older files? I just don't understand how this happened. Please help me restore. Thank you.

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Re: Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

So you moved those photos to another folder - am I right @krissytu?

Have you tried searching them on our website (as they might have been mis-placed)?

Just to make sure we're troubleshooting the right thing now, could you clarify if you're running the desktop app and if it's stating 'Up to date' which would mean you're fully synced?

Also, remember: your Dropbox folder is just a normal folder on your hard drive. Therefore, if you drag and drop files into the Dropbox folder, those files will be moved instead of copied.

It's common to assume Dropbox works like a network drive because of its many online features. However, your Dropbox folder is actually a normal folder and its contents are stored on your hard drive. The Dropbox application only watches your Dropbox folder for changes and syncs those changes online and to your other computers. One of the benefits of this way of syncing is always having access to your files, even while you are offline.

For more information on moving files versus copying them, you can visit our Help Center article: https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/desktop/files-move-instead-of-copy 

Keep me posted on your findings Krissy!



Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Explorer | Level 3

Hi Walter,

Yes I am running the Desktop App. I thought that once I dragged those files out of the Dropbox desktop folder, it would save/copy to my other "external" hard drive. However, it's all disappeared. I would drag the files to another folder, then delete the ones in the Dropbox folder so it could clear up space to continue uploading more photos from my phone. So now that it appears it's all disappeared, is there any way of recovering them from Dropbox? I am hoping there is some sort of miracle way that Dropbox doesn't fully delete everything. Please advise.

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Re: Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

If you moved them to another drive of yours, the files should still be there @krissytu.

Can you not find those files in the location you were moving them?



Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Explorer | Level 3

Hi Walter, these files recently vanished sometime in the last few weeks or months - I'm not entirely sure. I know I had recently organized my photos in categories & dates earlier this year, and now when I go back to that drive, the photos that I dragged from Dropbox are no longer there. However, I do see photos that were from my SLR camera, so I know that I did not just accidentally delete them all. I don't know what the issue is, so I am trying to find out if there's a back-up source from Dropbox that I can retrieve my photo uploads from photos taken in 2015-2017 because I do not have any backup from iphone Icloud or from my old phone which I had already formatted. These photos specifcally uploaded from Dropbox are all missing from my hard drive. 

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Re: Photos I dragged from dropbox to my hard drive are now gone

Super Collaborator | Level 20

Hi @krissytu,


@krissytu wrote:

... I normally do Control X in the Dropbox folder when it's full, and then Control V to paste it to my hard drive folder...


First of all, "Control X" mean cut! What would you say using "Control C" - copy, instead?

As @Walter already mentions, Dropobox folder is like any other and just "reflects" your account content. That's it. When you perform particular operation on the folder you do same to your account content (of course there is possible latency). As a regular folder again you have to take care for the meaning of "drag and drop" operation! While the operation is in border of single partition (both - source and target), meaning is move (i.e. file will be removed from source)! If the operation is between partitions, then meaning is copy (i.e. file will be kept in source). Of course default actions could be changed/forced using modifier keys (Control or Shift).

Files are kept in limited period after deletion, so accidentally deleted files is possible to be restored, but generally when you remove something from any cloud, responsibility is entirely yours. Good practice could be write archives to media like CD, DVD,... and so on. Errors awareness make us smarter. I'm sure, In future you will be much more careful. Also such troubles will be impossible.

Hope this gives right direction.

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